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I have a nice silver PowerBook G4 (exact model and year unknown), that stopped working a while ago. When you turn it on, it shows the light gray screen with the dark gray apple, and the spinning wheel directly below it (standard behavior). But the spinning wheel never stops spinning. No matter how long I leave it in there, it just keeps going, never moving on to the next screen.

 

I figured it needed a new Operating System, so I got a copy of 10.4.10 from eBay. But when I try booting from the disk, I get gibberish. Screen pics if desired, but it was the standard "restart your computer" message with a bunch of nonsense superimposed, the same paragraph basically copied twice. And at the very top, it says it can't find the right driver for the PowerBook platform.

 

So again, I'll post a screen pic if desired. But offhand, what's most likely? Bad CD? Bad hard drive? Bad RAM?

 

Quick responses are appreciated, so I can send these CDs back if need be.

-Apostrophe

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Hmm... Might be something with the disc? Is it a retail or a bundled cd? (One that was meant to be included with a iMac/PowerMac or iBook/PowerBook.) If it has 10.4.10 it's possible that it could be an Intel disc.

 

Is this the item?

 

If they are like this then they are definitely Intel discs. (Note that they say MacBook instead of PowerBook.)

 

You'll want to find a copy of the 10.4 retail disc and then just download the 10.4.11 update.

 

Or you could get something like this.

 

Hope this helps.

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Note two nasty gotchyas, if you're hitting Ebay looking for restore discs:

 

1: Powerbook G4 restore discs are restricted to only fully work on machines similar to the one they were packed with, and the level to which they were locked down increased with time. There are two parts to the restore disk set: there's the bootable OS installer, and then there's the installer you run afterwards to install the bundled software. (IE, the "iApps" and Classic Support.) The latter part has always been locked down pretty tight so the software restorer will only work if your Powerbook is the same generation as the disk is intended for. (I.E., if you have a 1Ghz Aluminum Powerbook the same disk that shipped with the first-model 1.25Ghz machines will work, but a disk for a 1.33/1.5Ghz one won't. There are workarounds to get past that, but it's probably not kosher to mention them.) As for the OS restorer, I don't remember the cutoff point but somewhere around the time Powerbooks started shipping with 10.4 instead of 10.3 they tweaked that so it won't work either. This can be really annoying if you own several Powerbooks and neglect to keep track of which disc goes with which.

 

It would help a *lot* if you knew exactly what vintage/speed your particular Powerbook is. If you really don't know you might be better off buying a "full" Tiger DVD set instead of a restore disk... with the caveat that if your Powerbook is the very very last 1.67ghz "High Res" model an early Tiger disk might not work because...

 

2: An OS disk for an Apple computer, whether it's a restore disc or a retail pack, will almost *never* work on a computer newer than the disk itself.

 

A suggestion I'll toss out there: If you have another PPC Mac running Tiger or better you could put the PowerBook into Target Disk mode and use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the OS from the working one. If the OS is up to date with all the latest updates that usually works.

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If the hard drive is still intact, you could also try booting with command+v held down to boot in verbose mode. This could show you if you are hanging on something in particular.

 

I would tend to believe Intel discs simply would not show as bootable at all and the Powerbook would remain on the flashing folder icon.

 

Kernel panics (the standard "restart your computer" message with a bunch of nonsense superimposed) are nearly always caused by hardware issues. I'd be inclined to suspect the hard drive if it hangs during boot and panics during an install attempt. You might try booting into target disk mode (hold down command+t at boot) then use disk utility to examine the drive from another Mac connected by firewire.

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McDermd, thanks so much for your key combinations, I'll try them out immediately.

 

However, unlike what you believed, the OS Install Disk actually does show up as bootable, along with the hard drive when I hold Option.

 

Okay, so I'll go up and try Command+V, and I'll post back here to see what it turns up.

 

-Apostrophe

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Here are a few pics. They're on Flickr so that you can zoom right in and see the text.

 

Here's the "Kernel panic" mode shown when I attempt to boot from my CD:

PowerBook G4 "Kernel panic"

 

Here's what happens when I hold down Option. Note that the Hard Drive and the Mac OS Install Disk both show up, although neither will actually boot the machine:

PowerBook G4 boot options

 

And finally, here's the "verbose mode" that I get when I try McDermd's suggestion of holding down Command+V. Command+S equally pulls up this screen.

PowerBook G4 verbose mode

 

I hope that someone here with more experience with modern Macs will be able to decode all of that for me. I'd be a bit better off if this were a Compact. ;)

 

-Apostrophe

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I would say the exact same thing. As I mentioned earlier, you can always try starting it in target firewire mode, connect the Powerbook to another Mac via a firewire cable and run Disk Utility's verify disk routine.

 

I think your 10.4.10 disc is for PPC as it boots from the disc but it may be keyed for a specific, later Powerbook model that your FW800 Powerbook is not. You can see in the panic dump that it's not finding your specific Powerbook model in the supported machines list (Powerbook 5,2). Is the disc a retail disc or a Powerbook restore disc?

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I think your 10.4.10 disc is for PPC as it boots from the disc but it may be keyed for a specific, later Powerbook model that your FW800 Powerbook is not. You can see in the panic dump that it's not finding your specific Powerbook model in the supported machines list (Powerbook 5,2). Is the disc a retail disc or a Powerbook restore disc?

 

I haven't been able to find my Mac Pro restore disk to see what happens if you feed it to a Powerbook, but... I seriously doubt that's a disk for PPC. 10.4.10 didn't come out until June 20th, 2007. I think that's almost past the point the Apple store had Powerbooks as *refurbs*.

 

(EDIT: I just found my Mac Pro disks. They're for 10.4.9. I'll take them home and try feeding them to a Powerbook tonight.)

 

At least the "Powerbook 5,2" says what model the machine in question is. It's either a 1.0 or 1.25Ghz. Those shipped with Jaguar restore disks... Oldskool.)

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Even if the restore disk is from a different Mac (of same architecture), it should still boot and just say its not compatible. The only thing locking those restore discs to certain machines is a flag in a plist file limiting the installer to only work on machines with a certain model identifier, example MacBookPro4,1. The only universal 10.4 disk is 10.4 Server.

 

No PPC Mac shipped with a 10.4.10 disk, period. MacBook Pro Mid/Late 2007, 2.4/2.2ghz shipped with this disc (as in 10.4.10, may have been a different build of 10.4.10 as they were pretty common 8R4031, 8R3014, 8R4049, 8R3025, 8R3032) as well as Mid 2007 MacBooks, Mid 2007 iMacs, Mid 2007 Mac Mini and Mac Pro (8 Core). It also looks like it says 2007, but the disc image is very blurry in the auction.

 

If you want to run Tiger on this machine you need a Tiger retail disk or a Leopard retail disk. Trying to boot a machine off a disk for the wrong arch will result in a kernel panic.

 

Believe me, I know what I am talking about.

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If you want to run Tiger on this machine you need a Tiger retail disk or a Leopard retail disk. Trying to boot a machine off a disk for the wrong arch will result in a kernel panic.

 

Believe me, I know what I am talking about.

 

Yep, you know what you're talking about. Booting those 10.4.9 Mac Pro CDs gives me exactly the same scrambled kernel panic screen as the screenshot. ("missing drivers for Powerbook 5,6" in this case, a 1.5Ghz model.)

 

Those are disks for *Mac Computer*, just like the label says. ;^)

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Thanks for the input everyone!

 

I'll return the CDs I have now, and get the 'full' install disks, I didn't realize that the ones I got were only for specific computers.

 

And thanks Gorgonops for giving this thread a practical application by testing it in your PowerBook.

 

Once I return these I'll get the real thing on eBay, I'll post back here and let you all know what happens.

 

-Apostrophe

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